Discover more from The Living Dark
A greeting and preliminary orientation
Welcome to The Living Dark. I’m Matt Cardin, and this is my blog/newsletter on waking up at the intersection of creativity, writing, religion, horror, nonduality, apocalypse, dystopia, consciousness, and culture. You can subscribe by clicking this button:
[NOTE: When I wrote this post to launch this newsletter, I had given the project the title “Living into the Dark.” In April 2023 I changed the title to “The Living Dark.” However, the principles laid out below still fully apply.]
Welcome to Living into the Dark! With my preternatural powers of perception, I intuit that since you’re reading these words, something about this newsletter has attracted your attention and/or interest. This is why I think it only fair to warn you right here, up front, at the outset, that the direction of this endeavor is entirely unclear. Its trajectory is indeterminate. The path forward will be something that you, the reader, and I, the writer, uncover and discover together. This is built right into the central theme that is named in the title.
Let me explain. For clarity’s sake, I’ll use the classic informational format, extending all the way back to Aristotle but most commonly associated today with journalistic news writing, of the Five W’s + 1 H. (Note: The information below also appears on and as this publication’s About page, as a permanent reference.)
Living into the Dark is for you if you’re interested in:
creativity and the inner genius or daemon muse
religion and spirituality
horror and the supernatural
meditation and nonduality
apocalyptic and dystopian cultural trends
books, movies, and the arts
occasional humor (a non sequitur, perhaps, but definitely something in the overall mix)
As for who I am: I’m Matt Cardin, a writer and editor with a long-running focus on the things described above. My books include the horror fiction collection To Rouse Leviathan, the nonfiction collection What the Daemon Said: Essays on Horror Fiction, Film, and Philosophy, and the instructional manual A Course in Demonic Creativity: A Writer’s Guide to the Inner Genius. I have edited and created encyclopedias on the history of horror literature, the scientific and cultural study of the paranormal, and the phenomenon of mummies in history, religion, and popular culture. My work has been praised by Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and Booklist, and has been nominated for the World Fantasy Award and long-listed for the Bram Stoker Award. I have been a panelist and reader at the World Horror Convention, World Fantasy Convention, Baylor University’s Faith and Film Symposium, and more. I have also been a guest on multiple podcasts and radio shows to talk about creativity, sleep paralysis, speculative fiction, and other things.
In addition, I’m a college vice president, a lifelong pianist, and a former professor of English and religion. I have a Ph.D. in leadership studies, a master’s degree in religious studies, and a bachelor’s degree in communication with a minor in philosophy. In what now feels like another lifetime, I was the video director for pop and country music legend Glen Campbell when he had a music theater in Branson, Missouri.
Living into the Dark is a blog newsletter devoted to the topics, themes, and subjects that I have been writing about for years. It represents an evolutionary extension and replacement of my original long-running blog, The Teeming Brain, which I wrote, with valuable input from a team of additional contributors, from 2006 to 2022. A list of the most prominent and frequent subjects at TTB, drawn from the site’s tag cloud, gives a good idea — but hardly a restrictive one — of what might crop up here:
apocalypse • art • books • capitalism • Christianity • collapse • college • consciousness • daemonic creativity • dystopia • Frankenstein • H. P. Lovecraft • history • horror • humor • interviews • literature • mind and media • movies • music • paranormal • psychedelics • publishing • Ray Bradbury • reading • religion • Robert Anton Wilson • science fiction • scientism • sleep paralysis • social media • surveillance • technopoly • television • Thomas Ligotti • UFOs
The content here at Living into the Dark will include essays, musings, asides, interviews, reviews, unpublished outtakes, reading recommendations, excerpts from my works in progress, reprints of previously published items that are hard to find, and — eventually, depending on how things go — an accompanying podcast. If and as the readership grows, I will also publish occasional Q&A or forum posts to encourage conversation and address reader questions. Some entries will be didactic or instructional in nature, especially when it comes to such things as creativity, meditation, and the deep discipline of cultivating a harmonious relationship with your inner genius.
The ratio of subscriber-only posts to public posts will go up over time (more subscriber posts, fewer public ones), dating from the launch of this publication in September 2022.
I will publish a new entry at least every other Wednesday, and occasionally (or sometimes frequently) more often than that.
New posts will appear in your email in-box when you subscribe. You can also read them in the online archive.
I created Living into the Dark to have a more focused outlet for regular connection with my readers, and to offer a way for readers to support my work directly.
As for why you should subscribe:
Never miss an entry. All will go directly to your in-box.
Gain access to all content, both free and paid posts.
Post comments and join the community.
Gain access to reader forums.
Read exclusive excerpts from my works in progress and reprints of rare uncollected or previously unpublished works.
Gain other bonuses to be revealed along the way.
You can become a paid subscriber for $5 per month or $50 per year. Or to provide more substantial help in launching and supporting this project, you can become a Founding Member for $100 for the first year. Founding Members will receive an autographed copy of one of my books (To Rouse Leviathan or What the Daemon Said, your choice), the ability to gift two friends with a free three-month subscription, and my sincere gratitude.
So that’s it. That’s the pitch, as it were. Like I said, this entire thing is open-ended. It will go and grow how, and as, and where it wants, with your participation helping to shape its direction and development. Thank you in advance.
Living into the Dark is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.